In November 2021, YouTube removed public dislikes. The dislike button is still there, but you can’t see how many other viewers clicked it. This can be a problem for both viewers and creators.
Here’s why seeing dislikes can be important, why the platform hid them in the first place, and how to see dislikes on YouTube in spite of this.
Why are dislikes important?
Dislikes are an important metric for both viewers and creators. They give you handy insights into how many people were unhappy with a certain video. Early in YouTube’s history, the platform had a star rating system, but it switched to the simpler like/dislike system in 2010.
If you’re a YouTube creator, the number of dislikes on your videos more or less directly tells you how many people were disappointed by your content. The reasons vary, though.
Maybe a solution you offered in your tutorial video doesn’t work for them. Or they’re unhappy with how you pace your content, or the topics you cover. In any case, high dislike counts are a crucial flag for where you need to improve.
As a viewer, dislikes can tell you how likely it is that a video will match your expectations and how likely you are to find it useful or enjoyable. If you’re looking for help with a coding bug, but a video that offers a fix has far more dislikes than likes, you probably won’t want to waste your time watching it.
Why did YouTube remove dislikes?
Officially, YouTube removed dislikes to stop discrimination against smaller channels.
In a study carried out in 2021, they found that smaller creators in particular often faced “dislike attacks”. In these attacks, malicious viewers would artificially drive up the number of dislikes on their target’s videos.
The aim? To turn potential viewers off, manipulate YouTube’s algorithm, and decrease a creator’s revenue.
YouTube says that hiding dislikes was necessary to “create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves.”
Creators still have easy access to their dislike counts. And even as a viewer, you can use a roundabout way of checking out dislike counts on videos that aren’t yours.
How to see YouTube dislikes as a creator?
As a creator, you can see dislikes on your content in YouTube Studio.
All you need to do is navigate to the content tab in Studio.
On the far right, you’ll see the percentage of likes vs. dislikes on each of your videos. If you hover over this number, you’ll see the exact number of likes and dislikes.
How to see dislikes on YouTube as a viewer?
If you want to see dislikes on YouTube videos that you didn’t create, you have to install a plugin called Return YouTube Dislike. It works on Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, and Brave. Plus, there’s a userscript if the browser you’re using is not yet supported.
This plugin is based on a freely accessible API that uses a combination of data to provide estimates of YouTube dislikes. On the one hand, it uses data from before YouTube started hiding dislikes. On the other, it analyzes viewer behavior and registers likes and dislikes by the over 3 million people who currently have it installed.
Plus, Return YouTube Dislike also recently announced that it would let creators share their dislike data for greater transparency.
Experience value shows that the plugin provides pretty accurate data. On the Chrome Web Store, it has a solid five-star rating, based on over 13 K reviews.
Here’s how to install it on Chrome: Navigate to Return YouTube Dislike’s Chrome Web Store page.
Now click “Add to Chrome” and click “Add extension” when prompted to give the app permission to collect website data (the developers’ extensive Security FAQ on their GitHub page lets you know how this data will be handled).
Once you’ve installed the extension, you’ll be able to see dislikes again! You can even customize the appearance of the dislike button.
The Bottom Line
Dislikes are an important source of information for both creators and viewers.
If you’re the creator of a video, you can access this intel by going to the content tab in YouTube Studio.
If you want to get the dislike scoop on someone else’s content, the best way to do so is by installing the Return YouTube Dislike plugin. It will give you solid estimates of dislike rations on any video on the platform.
In November 2021, YouTube announced that dislike numbers would no longer be publicly visible to prevent dislike attacks. The dislike button is still there and viewers can use it to adjust their home feed. But only creators can see how many dislikes they got.
As a content creator, you can see how many likes and dislikes your videos got. Go to YouTube Studio and click on the content tab. On the far right, you’ll see your like to dislike ratio. Hover on that value and the exact numbers of likes and dislikes appear.
If you don’t own the content, the only way to see an estimate of dislikes on each video is by installing the Return YouTube Dislike plugin. It’s available for browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.